The start of the second semester of A.Y. 2021-2022 will push through on February 7.
This was decided during a meeting held by the UP administration today, January 25, with the Multisectoral Alliance comprising the All UP Academic Employees’ Union (AUPAEU), All UP Workers Alliance, CONTEND-UP, and student representatives.
According to the AUPAEU, the administration and alliance agreed on the need for a health break in light of the impact of Typhoon Odette and of the rising cases of COVID-19, which severely affected UP constituents.
However, instead of having the health break before the start of classes, it will be during the first two weeks of the upcoming semester. During the “health and recovery period”, no synchronous meetings will be held and no deadlines will be imposed.
The semester opening on February 7 will push through for all UP campuses except the UP Open University and UP Cebu.
This is despite the call during UPLB’s 11th Council of Student Leaders’ (CSL) to move the opening of the semester to February 21, in recognition of the worsening health situation in the country. The CSL had also initially requested to have the health break before the start of the semester as opposed to during.
Aside from moving the start of the semester, the UPLB University Student Council (USC) also sent a letter to Chancellor Jose Camacho, Jr. last January 24, requesting to move the pre-registration period for the upcoming semester.
In response to the students’ concerns after issues encountered in the Student Academic Information System (SAIS), Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA) Jean Loyola assured the extension of the pre-registration period.
For the UP Research, Extension, and Professional Staff (REPS), there will be a five-day “Wellness and Learning and Development Program” that will begin on February 2, which aims to give the staff adequate time to rest and recover.
This is in line with the union’s ongoing health and wellness package campaign, which also includes calls for larger provisions on the Enhanced Hospitalization Programme (eHOPE) previously requested by UPLB REPS.
(RELATED STORY: UPLB REPS disclose pandemic work woes; demand better pay, health benefits, tenureship)
Other agreements met during the dialogue include providing contractual workers in UP with the same benefits as regular workers. In addition, the UP administration will expand the “System Special Payroll” project for the contractual workers to ensure timely receipt of their salaries. [P]
Photo by Pola Rubio
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